SF October 2009
San Francisco is quite a place. I still feel kinda sluggish from a long weekend of partying, eating, and travelling. I arrived home back to Florida yesterday and I’m already questioning if I could have crammed more into this trip. I really love San Francisco. Something about the city makes it a place where I can really let my guard down and relax. Things are just more interesting there.
Loveparade, Lovefest, LovEvoluition, Lovapalloza, whatever you want to call it could never go off in another American city. It is a unique festival that simply cannot be duplicated anywhere else. The festival embodies the same spirit absorbed by city in the late sixties. It really is amazing what happens when 100,000 individuals come together to dance and listen to music. Being part of that collective for the third time was an absolute pleasure. I had more fun at the festival this year than others. Despite there being less talent playing and some disorganization I don’t have any negative to say about LovEvolution 2009.
This is the best account I can give of my trip... I'm not sure I does any justice and reflects how much fun I actually had but its an attempt.
My two main missions to accomplish on this trip were to listen to great music and eat as much amazing food as possible. Friday started with a trip to the mission for a burrito. I had heard about a spot called La Cumbre that was supposed to be really good. I actually walked from the Union Square area all the way to the edge of the mission. The burrito was great but I began to get thirsty. My intention was to walk all the way to Golden Gate Park to check out a bluegrass festival going on there but I never made it.
Craving a cold IPA I ended up revisiting a fantastic bar in Lower Haight called The Toranado. I stayed there for a long time enjoying at least 6 pints of Pliny the Elder from Russian River. The occasional puff and the interesting people I met caused me to lose track of time. It was already 5pm so I decided to skip the bluegrass festival. I ended up returning to my hostel to shower and prepare myself for Dirtybird at Mezzanine. For some reason I wasn’t in the mood to relax. I found myself sobering up and getting bored so I grabbed a cab back to Lower Haight. Got a quick bite and met up with some local friends at a place called Minnie’s BBQ that was pretty awesome.
Afterwards, I headed over to a spot called SF Underground for Killswitch. Like last year they had about 20 djs on the line up all playing 10 minutes each. Lots of people from the local techno scene gather here before going out. Its more of a happy hour where people pregame. Later on, I’m pretty sure it turns into a weird gay bar… I saw I flier for a party called “Dick Safari” on the wall. I ran into some people I knew and haven’t seen for a while which was cool. I had a few more drinks and basically killed time until Dirtybird.
Around 10:15 I hopped in another cab and headed to Mezzanine. I had to get there early so Chris could get me into the club since I left my ID on the plane from FTL to Cincinnati like a moron. Turns out it was cool since the place was already busy and Tanner Ross was playing a surprise set. I was really happy to back at Mezzanine with all the Dirtybird kids. There was already a great crowd there and the sound system in that place is great. I couldn’t wait for Justin and Chris to turn that shit up. By 12, the place was bumpin.’ Martin Bros were killing it and I was going pretty nuts. I reunited with some old db heads and met some new ones as always. You really can’t beat a Dirtybird party in San Francisco. Everyone there knows the DJs and wants to be there. There’s no filler or VIP douchebags trying to outdo each other. I’ve travelled to many cities to party and haven’t found better music or people anywhere. I really want to create that same atmosphere here in Florida if I chose to stay here. By 2 something, Worthy was on the decks wrecking shit. I was really impressed how he kept the energy and picked up where the Martin Bros left off. I dare to say he was the dirtiest that night and had the crowd by the balls. It was also peak hour and the place was bumpin’ even though last call for drinks was over an hour ago.
I really don’t get it. In San Francisco bouncers will literally take the drink the from your left hand at 2am sharp… but they’ll let you continue to smoke the joint in your right hand. Very strange. By 4 something the crowd began to thin out for some reason. Kinda felt bad for J Phlip who had to follow Worthy’s monster set. I felt like the energy in the party deflated so I left for my hostel. I got back at around 5am only to find a bunch of foreign kids extremely drunk and still smoking pot. Luckily I had ear plugs and was able to get some rest that morning.
Saturday morning I was ready to go at 11. I left my baggage at the hostel and didn’t make a reservation for that night. I thought I’d be partying into the next day so it would be a waste. I started heading towards Market Street stopping at a liquor store. I picked up a bottle of Crown Royal… it was gonna be a Whiskey day. It was 11:30 when I took my first drink. It was fucking delicious. We decided to hit up this fast food taco place and get a quick bite. As we waited for our food, random freaks in costumes would walk in and out to use the bathroom. They were coming out in numbers. Half naked girls and fully naked guys walked by the window… the tacos were pretty good. At noon the parade started. Crazy people lined the streets next to normal people on vacation try to figure out what the fuck was going on. I quickly spotted the listed float, A bunch of freaks dressed in stripes were partying on top. Dory was playing and you could barely see her head over the dj equipment. I followed the float down the street and watched them struggle with monitors and a broken wheel. Bumped into as the party moved down market. Their sound was super on point and by the time Hac Le and passed him my crown bottle a few times. Naveen G was playing I was in the full swing of everything. The crown was beginning to turn me into goofball and I remember wishing I could do a good Techno Viking impression.
As the floats reached the Civic Center, I noticed security turning people away. I should have jumped on a float and rode in but ended up on two separate horrific lines. We made the best of it making friends with our bottle of whiskey and smoking weed with strangers. It took at least an hour to get into the festival. I immediately reunited with the listed float. By this time Craig Richards was rocking a giant crowd. I got really close so I could enjoy the massive soundsystem. Actually used ear plugs for the majority of the day which I’m proud of. Turns out I really needed them. The listed crew didn’t let up all day. Nikita and Hac rocked out. Burridge came on wearing fake rings with price tags dangling a top hat and a tuxedo t shirt. He mixed at least 3 tracks in and out of a track I have that Stimming remixed. Super dope.
Burridge is always going to be one my favorite DJs. He’s the whole package… One part weird spectacle three parts crazy techno madman.
During Lee’s set I noticed Danny Howells on stage wearing a spongebob mask. At some point he started spinning and completely impressed me… I haven’t seen him in 2 years and he’s defiantly changed his style quite a bit. I strongly strongly urge all the Florida head to come out and see Lee and Danny at Vagabond this weekend. Its going to be ridiculous I promise. At the listed float I ran into many friends. Early on I saw Emmy’s ass and couldn’t resist the urge to smack it respectively. That was fun. Later on I ran into Jeff from Portland and his super cool girlfriend Cyn. I fucking wish we lived closer and partied more often. Also ran into Crazy Larry, Amber, and a few other SF people I’ve gotten to know over the years.
As the sun went down, cold winds began to blow through the festival. People started to thin out and look for the next party. I headed over to 222 Hyde with Kevin Knapp to chill out before kontrol. We ended up on the most fun/worst ATM mission I’ve been on in ages. You really don’t know a person until you spend an hour trying to get a cash advance with them. Seriously.
We ended up parting ways and I went into a random bar to charge my phone. I sat there for an hour drinking beer. A drunk man who claimed he was the owner of this strange dive kept bringing me drinks. I rolled a joint on his table and joked with him. As I left it kinda got ugly. I apparently said something wrong he got in my face about defending my country. Oh well. Time to go to Kontrol anyways.
I was really excited for Kontrol. I love all of there artists and the outside talent they brought in I wanted to see pretty bad. I was kinda disappointed that I missed Alland’s set but couldn’t harp on it because Adultnapper was playing for the packed room. It took me a while to get in. I wasn’t sure if Greg Bird vouched for me so I could get in the End Up so I was a little nervous on line. I think I’m the only person who has ever gotten through the doors with a scuba diving license as his only form of ID.
The End Up is probably the worst club ever. Despite the amazing music/good sound it was hard to relax and get into the party. The crappy layout is not ideal for fucked up people having fun. There’s about a thousand and one places where you can trip and bust your ass. The grossest people in the whole city are at end up it reminds me of the scene in fear and loathing with the giant lizards. You’re “in the middle of a fucking reptile zoo! And someone is giving booze to these goddamn things!” That might be cool if I were on Acid and they were serving booze… sorry they stopped at 1:30am. I can’t imagine how many security people this club has. I must have seen 5 people get lead out by security through the back door. You really have to behave yourself at end up or they’re gonna fuck with you. It makes me on edge and not able to have fun. I’m not sure if I ever want to go back there. Anyways… I ended up leaving end up at around 5. I needed my backpack from the car and couldn’t deal with the line again. Three had just gotten on and was starting to get deep and funky. I wanted to stay but it was really scary in there and was starting to sober up.
The person I was traveling with and I hopped in a cab to our last hostel to get our luggage. We had made a reservation to stay at another place in North Beach and thought we could go there until our bed was ready. Wrong. Turns out the place wasn’t open 24 hours and we were stuck roaming around the streets of SF at 5am. I found another popular hostel and convinced the kid to let us hang out in the lobby until we figured out what to do. He was cool as long as we were gone by 7am. During our brief homeless stint we passed the Financial District Hilton. I had stayed there once two years ago and knew they had awesome beds. Luckily they had a room that had been rejected by previous guests because it was too smokey. It was one hell of an upgrade and we got the room pretty cheap until Monday morning. That bed might have saved my life. I’m surprised they let us in the hotel in the condition we were in.
We slept until around 1 then ventured into China Town for food. We picked a random spot and had a great meal. Afterward we went back to the hotel and slept some more. Then slept some more into Monday morning. I heard that Burridge was playing a private party near the hotel but couldn’t get my ass out the door. I should have gone... it might be my one regret of the trip…
Monday morning we woke up and checked out. I left my luggage at the hotel and headed to the mission district for a taco tour. I had been waiting for this the whole trip. I went to 6-7 taquerias and taco trucks. The Mission District is heaven for a taco freak like myself. Its literally taqueria after taqueria. It gets overwhelming and the realness of the neighborhood transcends onto your plate. I wish I had a whole other day just to eat tacos. On our way back to the hotel we stopped at Ike’s sandwiches. It was also really good. As I write this I just remembered that there’s half a rotting sandwich in my backpack.
We chilled in the hotel lobby for a bit then headed to the bart around 7 something. I had to get to the airport early because of my ID situation. As it turns out, the TSA guy let me right through with a school ID… kinda scary. Our redeye flight left on time… I slept for the duration of both flights and ended up getting back to Florida a full hour early. I rested most of yesterday and gathered my thoughts. I woke up today and decided to write…
by Scott Ziegler